HiPiHi Open Beta Begins

by Alphaville Herald on 21/04/08 at 8:19 am

“Heavenly Duke Creating Objects” era gives way to “Dawn of Society”

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Can the HiPiHi liberation army be far behind?

Cindy Jiang tells us in a HiPiHi press release that HiPiHi today announced the beginning of their public beta testing phase with the release of the “Dawn of Society” version – opening the door for new users to join existing “elder” users – or “oldbies” in SL parlance.

Ms. Jiang went on to observe that “the user naming system is the bedrock of a virtual world’s social activities and the individual user’s credibility and reputation. HiPiHi believes that a robust reputation system with its accompanying asset rights system, are the fundamentals for the development and prosperity of the virtual worlds of tomorrow”.

It was unclear if HiPiHi’s security features will include avatar perma-bans ‘for any reason or no reason’ as is traditional in Second Life – but we expect the Chinese will be able to role play a police state in as convincing a fashion as the Lab has managed, so the dystopian future seems secure – even if is does not belong to Linden Lab.

New HiPiHi features include a dual-naming user naming system to allow for both western and asian names. Cindy tells us that the new system has taken into account OpenID guidelines, differences in user preferences between Asian and Anglo-centric web markets, the inevitable internationalization of our user base and other user experience issues.

The “Dawn of Society” version also heralds the start of the design of a new platform architecture for HiPiHi. In collaboration with partners such as Intel and IBM, HiPiHi will embark and drive the design of a virtual world platform architecture that is more open, highly scalable and truly inter-operable, in order to lay the groundwork for the mainstreaming of virtual worlds.

Cindy’s press release ends on a stirring note: “As a classical Chinese proverb goes, “One day in Heaven is equal to one year on Earth.”. Similarly, HiPiHi’s year-long evolution, (from our earlier version releases such as “At the Threshold of an Era”, “Goddess Nu Wa Creating Mankind”, “Heavenly Duke Creating Objects” to the current “Dawn of Society”) has been at times, a never-ending and bittersweet journey for our 40,000-strong private-beta users. From today onwards, we look forward to the entrance of many more residents as they seek new life experiences on our virtual lands.”

Does all this have anything to do with Philip Linden stepping down and the sudden cut an pricing for virtual land in Second Life? We note in passing that HiPiHi claims a staff of 60 employees as opposed to the 250 LL staff – so HiPiHi presumably has a lower cost basis than Linden Lab. Are we witnessing the beginnings of a metaverse service provider price war?

34 Responses to “HiPiHi Open Beta Begins”

  1. Hal

    Apr 21st, 2008

    Seriously, isn’t this a complete non-starter for anyone outside China?

    Hands-up all those who want to enter a virtual world run from within a communist nation with an appalling human-rights record, a fanatical fear of free-speech, who (with a little help from Google) track dissidents online and, by the way, have an ongoing and disputed occupation of Tibet?

    Maybe it’s politically correct to ignore these issues in your news item, but i doubt many of their potential western customers will…how long before the virtual tanks roll in?

  2. cro

    Apr 21st, 2008

    Where do I sign up? I see a land rush in the making…

  3. cro

    Apr 21st, 2008

    No Mac users need apply…

  4. RoFLKOPTr

    Apr 21st, 2008

    ITT: Pixeleen fucking sucks at making links. Other than that, I didn’t read any of the article, so I have nothing to say about it.

  5. Damien

    Apr 21st, 2008

    For those interested in signing up

    Registration page:

    English translation of interface (pdf):

    It’s still very rough, obviously, but has the some great potential.

  6. Lewis Nerd

    Apr 21st, 2008

    I install the English version, selecting “English” as my installation language.

    The user agreement I signed up to is in Chinese.

    The “Readme” file is in Chinese.

    All I want to do is try and run the thing to see whether it’s any good and worth branching out my building business to.

    As far as I can tell, I think I’ve just ordered Chicken Chow Mein and a side order of crispy seaweed.

  7. ninaA

    Apr 21st, 2008

    They may be encouraging world users with an English web site and installer, however the game’s interface is Chinese at the moment.

  8. Lewis Nerd

    Apr 21st, 2008

    “Seriously, isn’t this a complete non-starter for anyone outside China?”

    Given that everything so far – including the readme, all the controls and the user agreement – are in Chinese… it pretty much screws most of us, even though I selected the English download.

  9. Brendan Cale

    Apr 21st, 2008

    For all you people know, you just Gave the Chinese people the right to kill you if you accepted the EULA that you have absolutely no idea what it said.

  10. shockwave yareach

    Apr 21st, 2008

    I wonder if it allows user-created content?
    I wonder if they’ll ban you for saying any of hundreds of keywords, like Tibet or Tianamen Square?
    I wonder if it’ll work as poorly and unreliably as SL? I mean, after all, it’s the norm now…

    The Chinese Red Army gets enough of my money as it is. I certainly won’t be giving them my credit card numbers in order to play a videogame in my spare time.

  11. Brace

    Apr 21st, 2008

    Hush now Hal

    China is legit now

    After all aren’t they hosting the Summer Olympics?


    uh HUH
    I’m stocking up on popcorn for that one LOLOLL

  12. Cai Pirinha

    Apr 21st, 2008

    Hal wrote “Hands-up all those who want to enter a virtual world run from within a communist nation with an appalling human-rights record, a fanatical fear of free-speech, who (with a little help from Google) track dissidents online and, by the way, have an ongoing and disputed occupation of Tibet?

    Maybe it’s politically correct to ignore these issues in your news item, but i doubt many of their potential western customers will…how long before the virtual tanks roll in?”

    /me raises his hand

    Within the last 30 years this oh-so-evil communist nation has raised almost a billion people out of extreme poverty; that is more than 3x the population of the entire United States.

    By the way, what most people conveniently ignore is the fact that Tibet has been a tribute-paying part of the Chinese Kingdom for 100s of years – so much for “occupation”. It also shouldn’t really be a surprise that a secular society does not really endorse violent promoters of a buddhist theocracy.

    And for the tanks, I wonder which country has actually the most of them on the ground in other countries?

    But you are right, maybe it’s really politically correct to ignore these issues in news items :)

  13. Scout Catteneo

    Apr 21st, 2008

    My default HIPIHI female av came with crotchless underwear.

  14. David Cartier

    Apr 21st, 2008

    When you live in a country which illegally attacks and invades other nations, in the process purposely targeting civilian, medical, diplomatic and religious facilities, poisoning the air and soil with radioactive depleted uranium munitions, a nation which singularly refuses to take part in the International Courts of Justice, which violates the UN Charter by stealing parts of other countries (Mexico, Spain, Columbia and Serbia come to mind) and setting up criminal puppet regimes, well, if you live in a country like that, you don’t have much justification to find fault with China.
    Tibet was a grinding religious dictatorship under the Dalai Llama. If you hold any ilusions about his being “enlightened” just ask him his opinion of homosexuality, divorce, abortion rights, women’s rights of any kind or religious dissent.

  15. Razrcut Brooks

    Apr 21st, 2008

    ..completely lost by this article.

  16. Obscure Doodad

    Apr 21st, 2008

    60 employees? That’s 1/4 of LL’s payroll. How are they funding them? I see where it says 60, so I guess they have the money from somewhere. Doesn’t look good for LL if these guys are competent. People hate the government and Tibet and all, but they still go to Walmart. If these guys get their stuff translated to English and sell sims for $10 USD, people will make the move.

  17. Lewis Nerd

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    I dropped the Support address an email asking how to change the interface to the English version.

    Reply? “Welcome you to HiPiHi world, you can click” HiPiHi World’s Help and Support (English Version)”to get more help!

    Thank your attention to HiPiHi World”

    And where is “Help and Support”? No clue. Probably hiding under a chinese menu option somewhere.

    Don’t suppose anyone here has tried it and cracked it?

  18. Unwashed Mass

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    Okies, downloaded HiPiHi (which took all morning, for some reason), guessed my way into it, wandered round a bit, worked out how to modify my avatar to another variety of Chinese, spoke to 2 people who spoke English, found an empty building, and gave up.

    Think I’ll give it a couple of months before I go back… imagine OI in Chinese, with no people or buildings around. Best thing about it was that you automatically start swimming when you hit deep water :) Worst thing – total lack of clues.

  19. Aya Pelous

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    well download is taking forever and after trying to find the English area of the forums all I got was this: ???????????????????????????????????????? ??/ ?????????? ?????? ??

    Sorry….I just don’t read simple Chinese and well I just don’t read question marks either. I figure I can expand my business there…It feels like It is gonna take forever to even download. I got 5% in the last 15 minutes. I’m not even in world and the place is already letting me down. Something tells me I am going to be perma-banned from this place within the next couple of days. Giggle

  20. Rip

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    Here’s three communist chinese cheers for HipiHi……Fooy Fooy Fooy!

  21. sirhc Desantis

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    I gave up on even bothering because the ‘clien’ download was so damned slow. looks like ll keep my business for now

  22. Digital Digital

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    I think I might of found some key loggers in the software beware, I am still investigating it.

  23. Just Me

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    There’s a HiPiHi_Interface.pdf file available on the webpage that translates the major menus for you.

    Has anyone figured out how to change your view of your avatar to something closer? I’m looking at myself from the back about 30 meters away. When I go into a building, I can’t see anything because of the distant viewpoint.

    Oh, and I met an avatar named “AVATAR” …. LOL

  24. Obscure Doodad

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    Right. Keyloggers. They are paying 60 employees with some VC’s money getting ready to go English, start selling virtual land and make the grab for most of LL’s millions of $$$$ in sales revenue, and somehow this means what they will spend their time on is trying to collect passwords from people that may somehow provide them with a way to steal $10 from someone, some where, some when.

    I don’t think so. With their low salaries, these guys are going to have a break-even point of about 3000 paying residents. LL better send some more people out to talk keyloggers.

  25. NinaA

    Apr 22nd, 2008


    ? ⊕ 您可以邀请您和您的朋友们通过新手注册向导快速的成为HiPiHi世界中的一员。
    ? ⊕ 如果您未在4月2日-4月17日完成老用户名的变更登记,在开放注册后,您的资产将为您保留;但是您的用户名不做保留,将有可能被新居民注册为昵称。老居民的资产今后将通过专用通道,通过老居民名和密码找回。
    (3)老居民在进入变更页面后,如“我很快乐”未被抢注,可以继续延用,如果提示 “此昵称已经被占用”,那就表明已被新用户抢注,您需更更改昵称。
    ? (1)由HiPiHi居民自治建立的“原点镇”社区。
    ? (2)由居民自己策划和制作的HiPiHi创意视频。
    ? (3)了解HiPiHi居民和HiPiHi重大事件的访谈性活动“说吧”。





  26. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    I like the way it looks utterly identical to SL in virtually every way, shape and form. Typical chinese business methods there.

  27. Dr. Internet

    Apr 22nd, 2008

    It’s like SL, if it actually managed to fail more than usual.


  28. Unwashed Mass

    Apr 23rd, 2008

    @ Just Me – use your mouse to rotate and zoom – took me a while to figure that out, too :)

  29. Lewis Nerd

    Apr 23rd, 2008

    Latest instalment…

    “You aer right,later, we must have the english vision. But ,now, we hope the Chinese vision will be good. I think you can understand it, but no problem, you can enter the world. And you can meet a lot ot Chinese people, they will teach you how to play.

    Thank your advise and attention to hipihi!”

    Engrish anyone?

  30. Lord Kamina

    Apr 23rd, 2008

    I wonder if the chinese like spengbab.

    I think they like spengbab.

  31. Just Me

    Apr 24th, 2008

    Still learning by trial and error .. it turns out the pdf file with English translation of the interface was for a previous version, so now it’s click and see what happens.

    When there’s an English language version, I hope to see about setting up a business … could be a huge market out there for “stuff”. Wonder if there’s a currency yet and if it’s convertible to RL money? hmmmmmmmm

  32. FWord Utorid

    Apr 29th, 2008

    it needs bots.

  33. Ishtara Rothschild

    May 4th, 2008

    I’ll wait until I can get an English (or German) client before I start selling genitals, tentacles and unspeakable things to the Chinese. That is, if they allow such content. If not, what’s the point of HiPiHi?

  34. Djfishy

    Aug 16th, 2010

    is there a hipihi for mac

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